Wednesday, September 28, 2011

don't you love the quirkiness of independent stores

As the number of stores near our home are increasing, I've been curious about the mix of stores which are mostly chains and franchisees. So far there is only one mom and pop store, a tiny little grocery store, that seems to promote it's haphazardness along with its 'almost' free delivery. Yes, almost free, as it has a minimum bill amount, that happens to be more then double of the store one level up, but they still keep on saying, its free, as long as you buy a certain amount! Ah, what would small-scale retail be without a little kookiness! I love going to independent stores, since they carry products that others will not, just as long as they have all the modern accompaniments which are now considered quite basic nowadays, things like a POS system that tracks sales and inventory. Another bothersome issue at the smaller stores is that they usually have barely have any aisle space, so navigating it with a baby stroller is quite a hassle. But finding interesting and fresher produce is a great draw for me, and don't even get me started on the tiny bakery section. Today, we bought a freshly baked baguette, still warm to touch, that we ate while walking back home. Yes, E ate it too!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

PosterBrain on my mind!

Ever since I've got into photography, I've got printing on my brain. I mean, with digital cameras one keeps on clicking away but what does one do after that? Nothing, right. That's what I didn't like about digital cameras to start off with. But then I realized that there were some really great options in printing my photos and PosterBrain was at the top of my list. The name's amazing right! How could I not want to print out my photos from a company with such a cool name! Printing out smaller photos is fine for the usual printing shops, but if you want to do some custom poster printing, then you have to go to the best. For large format printing, the ink and paper has to be the best, and if you're going to showcase your work, just go with the best.

So far, I've had some custom posters made from our trip to Kerala a few years back as well as a trip to Goa, and I've really been satisfied with the results. Next on my list are some even larger format poster printing, for a large wall in the dining room. I've been thinking of getting one of my shots of a window printed out large, to give the impression that there is a window there. Since I love to take photos of views from windows, I have several to choose from. It would be cool to see a view from a half a world away, as if it's right outside, wouldn't it!

The cool thing about PosterBrain is that they are experts at custom posters, poster printing and custom poster printing as well as large format printing so they are able to blow up any photo into a 24x36" poster. And best of all, they manage to do the printing and shipping overnight itself. Prices of printing start at USD 19 and shipping at USD 8, so I know that I can order a few without feeling guilty. I had thought I would place my order before my guests arrived a couple of weeks back, so that the house looked nicer and a bit different from the last time they visited, but I just wasn't able to decide which one I wanted to order. Decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

toddler inspired redecorating!

Having a toddler in the house makes you see everything in a new light. There is danger in every direction, sharp edges, loose wires, things waiting to be pulling off tables, odd niches waiting for little hands to get stuck in. I've been busy trying to make it all safe for her without going overboard. I mean, I don't want to childproof the house to such an extent that it's taken over by gates and the usual safety stuff. I want to teach my child not to mess with some things, things that I can leave out in the open, not dangerous things of course, but things that she will be curious about and want to touch. How else is she going to learn what it means to be told no? I have sorted out all the many wires though, and having hdmi video cables makes it all much simpler anyway.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Buying Local Vs Organic

There are so many great online magazines now days and one of the new ones that I am reading is Pure Green. I'd bookmarked it a week or so back so I could sit and read it when I had some time, so that I would not have to rush through it. That's the whole idea about being green, living an organic life, buying local and so on. I wanted to relish reading the magazine, to savor it. Don't you do that too? I love holding onto my magazines, especially the physical ones, until I have a good amount of time to really enjoy them, and so with online magazines too.

I recently wrote about another online magazine called Kinfolk, which is about gatherings, especially small gatherings, and how we are losing and forgetting the importance of these social and cultural events in the rush-rush of life. Pure Green is all about sustainable living and design, which was once such a niche segment, but now more and more people are understanding what it's all about. In a way, Kinfolk and Pure Green relate....they're both about slowing down and living a a better life, a life that doesn't revolve around pre-cooked meals, about reconnecting with the family, and creating a new social and cultural environment for one's family and friends.

Living in a place like Dubai, where there is very little local produce, I find it hard to find fruits and vegetables that have not come from half the world away. I place more importance on buying local rather than buying organic, and luckily all grocery stores list the country of origin of  all items in the produce section. For example, there are usually 4-5 varieties of tomatoes, each with varying prices and the most expensive ones are the organic ones. If there is a local variety, then that is my choice. While we don't have much local produce, tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber are the most common ones.

Image source: Pure Green Magazine

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the everyday

Just the everyday things, the ones that get overlooked in the rush-rush of daily life. It's good to stop and do something different every once in a while isn't it.

little feet in the corner. Somehow Elisha's feet look so tiny here, smaller than they actually are. And that's a biscuit that she played with for a while and then abandoned. At least, she didn't crumble it and spread it across the floor :-)

She woke up way to early one day and I knew she wouldn't go back to sleep, so decided to go for a walk with her instead. While it wasn't cool, but it was decently pleasant and I got some nice early morning sunshine shots, when the light is always so nice.

All babies love looking at other babies photographs don't they! Here, Elisha is engrossed in the Ikea catalog, talking excitedly and pointing to a baby.

Monday, September 05, 2011

I want to remember this forever

So this evening, we were coming back from our walk and the lift filled up with a young mum with a 5-6 year old boy and one other gentleman. The little boy and his mother got off first and then it was our floor. As we were leaving, the gentleman says, I'm going to be a new dad soon. So we congratulated him and I told him, it's a life changing experience. You'll be more tired than you can imagine, but you'll also have the most amazing experiences ever.

That's really what it's been like for me. I'm more exhausted that I ever thought I'd be, constantly rubbing Sensor on my back and my wrists, complaining of a myriad collection of aches and pains, but despite it all, it's be best experience ever.

This is the second time that I've felt it so strongly, that I can ease her pain just by holding her. When she used to cry constantly when I put her down for about 2-3 days just after she turned 1, I thought she's just throwing a tantrum. I thought, I have to discipline her, I can't give in to all her cries. But it turned out that she was teething and had an upset tummy for which she was taking meds, but they weren't helping. So she had a genuine problem.

How is it possible to ease physical pain just by holding a child? But it's true. Children are comforted just by being held or even if you're just sitting there, right next to them. Elisha was teething and for her just my holding her or comforting her was medicine enough. The past few days it's been happening again. I'm in awe. I still look at her and get all guey.

I want to remember these moments forever.

In the header

A full version of the photo in the header. My daughter Elisha's plastic globe and her books in the back. She loves playing with and reading her books, which really makes me very happy. Especially, when I'm busy doing something and I realize that she is very quiet, and turn to look and find that she is quietly looking at her books, pointing to different things on the page, quietly talking to herself. It's the sweetest thing ever. Ever.